Crawford suffers groin injury vs. Orioles
Hit with pickoff throw, outfielder could miss a couple days
BALTIMORE -- Rays left fielder Carl Crawford left Tuesday's game against the Orioles at Camden Yards following the top of the first inning after being struck in the groin by a pickoff throw by Baltimore starting pitcher Jake Arrieta.
Crawford was transported by ambulance -- he said it was his first ambulance ride -- to the nearby University of Maryland Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a testicular contusion. After the game, Crawford walked gingerly and acknowledged he was still in pain.
"Right now, it's real sore," Crawford said. "But the doctor said [there] wasn't [any] damage or nothing like that. I don't know how long the pain is going to be there. I'm guessing I'll probably take a day off."
With the Rays scheduled for a day off Thursday before finishing a nine-game road trip with three games in Cleveland, manager Joe Maddon could essentially give Crawford two days off by holding him out of the lineup for Wednesday's 12:35 p.m. ET game.
"He's as good as can be expected. ... [Crawford] was in a lot of pain. It was a very difficult moment for him, but he seems to be OK," Maddon said. "I don't know if he's going to play tomorrow. We'll see how he feels tomorrow morning."
Ben Zobrist had drawn a leadoff walk but was erased at second on Crawford's fielder's-choice grounder to second, with Crawford beating shortstop Cesar Izturis' relay to first. Before throwing his first pitch to Evan Longoria, Arrieta tried to pick Crawford off, but the right-hander's throw to first baseman Ty Wigginton instead struck Crawford flush between the legs.
The ball skittered away as Crawford crumbled to the ground in pain, with first-base coach George Hendrick already motioning for a trainer. Crawford was tagged out while writhing in pain.
"I thought [Crawford] got hit in the ribs at first," Maddon said. "He goes back and opens up like he does, and I thought he just got smoked in the ribs because [Arrieta] threw the ball hard. When he was down on the ground, you knew it was beyond the ribs."
Crawford lay on the ground for about five minutes being tended to by head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield while Maddon and Hendrick hovered over him. While replays were shown, the crowd gasped audibly as the ball struck Crawford.
"When I played football, I got hit hard a few times, but nothing like that," Crawford said. "It caught me square, right there. It couldn't have hit in a better spot. It just took the wind out of me."
Crawford was helped to his feet and slowly walked off the field under his own power. However, he was replaced in left field by Matt Joyce, who was supposed to be the starting right fielder, in the bottom of the inning. Second baseman Ben Zobrist shifted to right field, shortstop Reid Brignac moved to second base and Jason Bartlett took over at shortstop.
Crawford said he doesn't wear a protective cup because it infringes on his freedom of movement.
"I don't wear a cup," Crawford said. "Never wore a cup. I do too many moves to wear a cup. ... I'm still not going to wear a cup."
Asked if he would rethink wearing a cup, Crawford dismissed the idea, saying the chances of taking another similar shot were remote. He did, however, say he might alter his motion back to the base to prevent exposing himself to injury.
"It won't happen again," Crawford said.
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.